There are so many different types of mattress toppers on the market, and their material and composition have certainly evolved over time. Without a doubt, two of the most popular mattress topper materials these days are egg crate foam and memory foam.
If you’re in the market to level up your cozy space this year, this guide will help you figure out which type of mattress topper material will work best for you. Keep reading to learn more about the differences between egg crate vs. memory foam so you can find the perfect mattress topper for you.
What is egg crate foam?
Egg crate foam is also known as convoluted foam. It gets its name because it has ridges in the material that allows your body to sink into it to help alleviate minor aches and pain. This type of foam can be made from polyfoam or memory foam. It’s most often used in mattress toppers.
Pros and cons of egg crate foam
- Inexpensive: Egg crate mattress toppers are usually the cheaper option when compared to memory foam toppers. You can find a good quality one for around $50.
- Promotes airflow: Egg crate toppers are the first choice in healthcare facilities since the material promotes airflow. This keeps the topper from feeling (or smelling!) stuffy and helps cool whoever’s sleeping on top of it.
- Provides extra pressure relief: An egg crate topper will provide a temporary fix for anyone looking for pressure relief due to minor aches and pains—but for more intense relief, it might not do the job.
- Doesn’t provide enough support on its own: Over time, egg crate toppers will lose their shape and therefore lose the ability to promote pain relief as you sleep on them.
- Potential to off-gas: Off-gassing refers to the chemical odor that some mattress topper materials may release once they’re in your home. If you’ve ever smelled a strong chemical stench coming off of one of your mattresses or toppers, it’s likely due to off-gassing. This typically happens with synthetic materials, like polyfoam.
- Difficult to clean: For an egg crate mattress topper, you’ll have to spot-clean the affected area as the entire thing can’t be thrown into the washing machine.
- Not very durable: Egg crate mattress toppers usually last three years or less, so they’re not the most durable option.
What is memory foam?
Memory foam, aka viscoelastic foam, was invented in the 1960s and is made from a type of polyurethane foam. It’s very responsive to heat and pressure. It molds to your body as you lie on it and retains its shape when you’re not on it. Most memory foam beds have layered densities of foam for balance and comfort. Memory foam is also a popular material for mattress toppers.
Pros and cons of memory foam
- Provides excellent pressure relief: Anyone dealing with joint pain may feel relief after sleeping on memory foam as it hugs the pressure points of the body.
- Promotes proper alignment: Because memory foam conforms to each individual’s body, it helps the spine remain in alignment as you sleep.
- Limits motion transfer: If you sleep with someone else, memory foam is a great option since you won’t feel every move and stir by the other person.
- It’s hypoallergenic: Choosing an eco-friendly, nontoxic memory foam option will help ensure your memory foam topper is hypoallergenic. Plus, this material doesn’t have secret nooks and crannies where dust mites can live in.
- Traditional memory foam tends to sleep hot: Memory foam traps heat, unlike egg crate foam. If you run hot when you sleep, then you might want to look for memory foam infused with a cooling material, like gel or graphite.
- May not be the best option for bigger bodies: Memory foam is typically suited for individuals who are under 200 pounds. If you’re above that weight, then you might not receive the same spine alignment benefits.
- No bounce: Memory foam contours to the shape of the person on it and releases back into its original shape slowly. If you like a bouncy feel when it comes to your bed, then this might not be the right mattress topper material for you.
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Egg crate vs. memory foam: key differences
Where it’s found
The egg crate material is typically only used in mattress toppers to help provide a more cushiony, comforting sleep for someone struggling with minor aches and pains. Memory foam is found in all sorts of bedding products, including mattresses, mattress toppers, and even pillows.
Egg crate toppers are usually thin and they’re not very durable. Memory foam feels more plush and pillowy to the touch and will provide optimal pressure relief consistently over time.
Egg crate is breathable due to the design; air easily flows in and out of it due to the spongey material. Traditional memory foam may sleep hot, but newer mattresses and toppers with cooling materials like graphite exist, so there are options if heat-trapping is a concern for you. Plus, you can sleep on breathable sheets and in breathable pajamas to help alleviate the hot temperatures at night.
Egg crate toppers are cheaper than memory foam toppers—but they won’t last you as long and will break down faster over time.
Is egg crate foam the same as memory foam?
These two materials aren’t the same. Each one has different pros and cons—and it’s up to you which one to invest in for your sleep health.
Is egg crate foam good for your back?
It may help minor aches and pains in the back area—but for more intense, long-term relief, it might not be suitable.
Is memory foam or egg crate better?
This depends on your sleep needs. In general, memory foam is better for those who need a long-term solution to back pain and aches and those who need spinal alignment as they sleep. Egg crate material is more breathable than memory foam, so if you’re a hot sleeper that could be an important factor.
Find the best memory foam mattress topper from Saatva
If you’re ready to add a mattress topper to your bed for added comfort, we’ve got you covered. Saatva offers a variety of high-quality mattress toppers to suit every sleep preference. Our memory foam topper is infused with graphite for the most advanced cooling technology available.
Memory foam instantly limits motion transfer as it hugs your curves for the ultimate in pressure-point relief, while the graphite layer draws heat away from the body for cool, refreshing sleep.